Bordeaux producers face fierce competition in the US market

Bordeaux producers face fierce competition in the US market

Wine producers from France's Bordeaux region should focus on selling wines in the US$20 bracket in the US to help shake off the region’s expensive image among the country’s consumers, according to a senior executive at CA Grands Cru.

Speaking to just-drinks at a press dinner in London last night (11 October), Alain Croheim, business development director at the Bordeaux producer, admitted that selling wine in the US is still a “real challenge” for the region.

“The problem is we have an image of selling expensive wines,” he said. “We should aim to sell more wines at around $20, we need to develop that market.”

Croheim said the key to selling wine in the US, now the world's largest wine market in volume terms, is “being there” and doing business face-to-face. He also suggested that Bordeaux wines need to break out of being sold just in steak restaurants in the US, to being offered in other types of food venues. 

The main markets in the country for CA Grands Crus, a subsidiary of the retail banking group Credit Agricole, are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Florida, he said.

During the Iraq war ten years ago, French wine sales are believed to have suffered due to the ideological stand-off with the US. However, last year, shipments of Bordeaux wine to the US were up by 17%, according to figures released in March

Thierry Budin, MD of CA Grands Crus, which owns eight estates in the Bordeaux region, told just-drinks: “The market is coming back. US consumers are still very loyal to Bordeaux and it remains a key region.”

Budin said the company’s other priority markets are the UK, China and Japan.